Essential Living: A Guide to Having Happiness and Peace by Reclaiming Your Essential Self by Shelley Uram, MD
“In general, reconnecting with the essential self can be gradual, sudden or anywhere along a continuum. This book is an overview of my perceptions of how we might go about reconnecting with our essential self. It’s not intended to be blindly utilized as a personal guide or prescription for anyone. Instead, it’s important to reflect on the information contained within and find what is true for you.”
Shelley Uram, MD, a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist, is a speaker, author, and clinician who focuses her efforts mostly on psychological trauma. Her book, Essential Living: A Guide to Having Happiness and Peace by Reclaiming Your Essential Self, is Dr. Uram’s way of helping readers get back to their core selves: the deepest driving forces in their lives that can help them find lasting peace and happiness. “The reason I am writing this book is that I have witnessed a truly enormous amount of suffering in human beings, from all walks of life, all socioeconomic levels. Much of this suffering could be lessened, stopped, and/or prevented by people having some understanding of their brain’s operation, and then putting some of this knowledge into action,” Dr. Uram states.
In her own words, Essential Living is a book about:
- “Mankind’s most elemental and authentic inborn nature” (i.e., the “essential self”)
- “Some of evolution’s most ancient survival wiring that remains intact and active in the human brain and mind, but lacks the capability of any understanding of the lives of modern mankind. Its default programming is far too rigid, severe, and reactive for the lives and minds of modern mankind”
- “How number two above short circuits number one, which leads to real suffering”
- “What we can do about it”
The first part of the book is dedicated to explaining and defining the core self, the essential self, and recognizing how the ancient survival brain in all humans tends to take over, and how people can “slide down the slippery slope of the mind trying it’s best to accommodate the edicts of the overactive ancient survival brain areas.” This, Dr. Uram clarifies, is what causes the need for many people to self-medicate.
The second part of Essential Living features advice and lessons on how to reconnect with the core self. Dr. Uram provides readers with exercises so they can reclaim their lost selves and get back to finding the happiness they really crave at the deepest level.
Dr. Uram shares with readers that the title Essential Living has more than one meaning: “It refers to living from our very essence, which I call the essential self, which is where the truth of our selves lies. The second meaning is that it is essential that we do this if we wish to know whom we are and to lessen our suffering.” Through this easy-to-read guidebook, Dr. Uram provides readers with everything they need to get back to their true selves, find happiness, and be at peace.
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